Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Save WiscNet: Call Your Legislators This Week!

Save WiscNet: Internet for Higher Ed, Libraries & K-12 Schools Under Attack

Take Action!
Ask your legislators to reverse Joint Finance decision

Please call your legislators this week to urge them to restore WiscNet and retain cost-effective Internet service for institutions of higher education, K-12 schools and public libraries.

On Friday, June 3, the state legislature's Joint Committee on Finance passed Motion 489 that contained a provision (among many others) that would eliminate WiscNet as a department or office within the UW-Madison Department of Information Technology and eliminate $1.4 million in funding for WiscNet for 2012-13. Thus, all public institutions of higher education, 95% of public libraries and 80% of schools now receiving Internet services through WiscNet would be forced to seek these services from private telecommunications providers.

Almost all schools and libraries will pay more to private providers; the average cost is estimated to be three to five times higher than the current costs through WiscNet. But the cost is much greater than just dollars. The successful cooperative and collaborative network that WiscNet has fostered between higher education, K-12 education and libraries for the past 16 years will disappear. See the WiscNet website for more information.

Call your state senator and state representative and tell them this means libraries and schools in their districts will no longer be able to afford the Internet access that student and patrons want and need. Ask that sections 23-26 of Motion 489 be deleted on the floor of the legislature before the budget bill is approved and is sent to Governor Walker for his signature.

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